x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

UAE hotels hope New Year's Eve kicks off positive 2011

With a host of celebrations planned for New Year's Eve in the UAE, the Emirates hotels are hoping the night heralds bookings for 2011.

Atlantis in Dubai. Hotels across the UAE hope tomorrow night's festivities will herald a bigger and brighter 2011.
Atlantis in Dubai. Hotels across the UAE hope tomorrow night's festivities will herald a bigger and brighter 2011.

Hotels in the UAE, which have launched an array of celebrations to see in the New Year, including fireworks and gala dinners, are hoping the positive booking trends for the festivities will continue into 2011.

Events on offer at the UAE's luxury hotels range from a few hundred dirhams to as much as Dh7,450 per person, which will buy you a ticket for a champagne reception, gala dinner and a party at the Burj Al Arab in Dubai. The Yas Hotel in Abu Dhabi is offering a package including an overnight stay and dinner for Dh5,500 for a couple.

Atlantis The Palm, meanwhile, has launched a beachfront gala dinner for Dh2500 and has a range of celebratory dinners at its various restaurants, which include Nobu. The hotel has 1539 rooms, all of which have been fully booked from Christmas Eve until the end of the first week of January.

"We plan for New Year's Eve in the evening to serve about 5,200 covers," said Serge Zaalof, the chief operating officer at Atlantis The Palm.

"This is very positive for 2011. Everybody is smiling in the hotel."

He said occupancy levels this month were about 11 per cent higher compared to the month of December last year.

Mr Zaalof said he expected business to be better in terms of occupancy and rate next year.

"I think people are travelling a bit more. I would say Dubai overall is recovering well over the last six months as far as tourism is concerned."

Hoteliers in Dubai are reporting more and more visitors from India and China.

Guy Epsom, the director of business development at Moevenpick Hotels and Resorts, said that its Ibn Battuta Gate hotel in Dubai was fully booked for New Year's Eve. The hotel has also sold about two thirds of its tickets for its festive dinner party, priced at Dh650 per person.

"We've been overwhelmed by the amount of business that has come in for the New Year period."

He said the first two months of the year were looking positive, because of business generated by conferences and the fact that airlines were opening up new destinations that were bringing in more tourists.

The performance of hotels throughout the year, however, will largely depend on the new supply coming into the market and whether this outpaced the increase in demand.

Moevenpick is opening a new 216 room property in Deira on January 1.